Devil's Advocate 
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comments

Don’t Invest In The Stock Market

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

We are led to believe that the best place to invest our money is in the stock market. Low barriers to entry, low barriers to exist, plenty of information, high probability of success in the long run and a lot of success stories. We also hear some of the horror stories of people who day traded tech stocks in the early 2000s, gamblers who lost it all on penny stocks, and all the chop shop, pump and dumpers like in the movie Boiler Room. However, through it all, we’ve been taught, over and over again, that if you buy for the long term, you will always win.

For today’s Devil’s Advocate post, we’re going to break down the stock market and show why we really are just little guppies hoping not to get eaten by the sharks.

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 Reviews 
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Wisdom on Value Investing by Gabriel Wisdom

Wisdom on Value Investing by Gabriel WisdomWisdom on Value Investing by Gabriel Wisdom is based on Wisdom’s professional experience and his Fallen Angels investment strategy, a way to identify good companies that have been punished by the stock market.

Value investing is an investment strategy made popular by Benjamin Graham and brought to the forefront with the successes of Warren Buffett. The idea is that you want to buy a great company at a great price, when it’s been discounted by an emotional stock market.

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 Your Take 
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Your Take: Your New Year’s Resolution?

Two days ago I wrote a post about how to set a New Year’s Resolution you can keep and today I want to know what your resolution for 2010 is going to be!

Mine? I plan on taking half of our emergency fund and committing it to the stock market in individual company holdings. I’ve long been an advocate of index funds, all of our retirement savings are in index funds, and only recently have I been dabbling in buying stock in companies that offer dividends. Our emergency fund has twelve months of expenses, a conservative amount because I am self-employed and my wife is a lightly compensated graduate student.

We will invest half of the fund over the next six months in individual stocks and then replenish the emergency fund with income as the months pass. Part of the process will be learning more about the investing and the stock market in general, so this won’t be a random selection of stocks “we think will do great,” but a more analytical approach. The idea is to learn more about investing in the stock market, perhaps learning it’s just not for me, and the means to measure success will be in committing to investments and feeling good about it.

It follows the whole SMART mantra and I am confident this is a resolution we’ll be able to keep.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? If you need some ideas, Bankrate has a list of New Year’s resolutions that will save you money (and years on your life!).

And Happy New Year!


 Taxes 
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Harvesting Stock Gains: 0% Capital Gains Tax

Harvesting GainsIn the December special issue of Kiplinger’s magazine, Mary Beth Franklin put together a list of tax moves that can save you big money. Normally, these tax moves are the same from year the year. Her list has a few old standbys that are also on Kay Bell’s list of year end tax moves like giving to charity and checking your tax withholding. However, there are also some 2009 specific ones such as the home energy tax credit and the first time homebuyer’s credit.

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 Personal Finance 
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How to Kick 11 Fearful Financial Situations in the Face

This post is part of the one day blog event “The Spectrum of Personal Finance.” In this event, comic book nerd Brian of My Next Buck, will discuss 8 different emotions (taken from the Green Lantern comic series) and relate them to personal finance. Here at Bargaineering we will be looking at Fear. To view the rest of the event look at the bottom of the page to see the other blogs hosting articles.

When I started looking through the personal finance blogosphere a year ago I was frightened of all the information I was gathering. There was so much out there and I didn’t necessarily understand what I was reading. I didn’t want to make a misstep with my hard earned cash, so I didn’t do anything at first.

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 Personal Finance 
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5 Things to Do Before You Start Working

HandIf you’re graduated in May (congrats!), I recommend reading David Griner’s post about five things he’d do if he were graduating in May. They contain five solid tips that can help you in your career.

If you haven’t yet joined the workforce but are planning to in the next few months, I wanted to give you five things you should do before you start working.

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 Devil's Advocate 
9
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You Don’t Have To Be The Best

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

Do you play a sport? My favorite sport to play is basketball. There’s something about hearing the ball swish through the net that brings a smile to my face. There’s something about threading that perfect pass that makes me just a little bit giddy. Oh and setting a good solid pick to get my guy free? Love that too. While I love all the other aspects of the game, I love winning the game above all else. I don’t care how many points I score or how many assists I get, the point of the game is to win and if you don’t win, none of that other stuff matters.

It’s not like that in life. In life, you don’t always have to be the best. In this Devil’s Advocate post, I talk about how in personal finance, you don’t have to always get the best offer, sometimes good enough is good enough.

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 Reviews 
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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Value Investing

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Value Investing is exactly what it sounds like, a book that will teach you how to be a value investor, how to analyze industries and companies, how to dig deep into financial statements, and how to filter analysts (among other things). It’s written in the same easygoing style of the series and has little graphical clues to help anyone understand value investing. Value investing is one of the most popular investing “styles” out there and works off the notion that you can find good, solid companies that have had their share prices battered by the market. Their fundamentals are still strong but they’ve fallen out of favor in the marketplace so their share prices offer a good value, hence value investing.

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